[Updated: Fox moved Fantastic Four to June 19, 2015]
Twentieth Century Fox - taking a page from the Marvel Studios playbook - hired comic creator Mark Millar as a consultant in September 2012 to offer ideas and help oversee the development of their Marvel properties. That hiring came on the recommendation of director Joe Carnahan who at the time was attempting to revive Daredevil before Fox gave up and let the rights revert back to Disney.
Millar's job is to make Fox' remaining Marvel properties embrace a consistent and cohesive, shared universe that takes full advantage of Marvel Comics history, and it begins with two X-Men films over the next two years, followed by Fantastic Four a year later.
James Mangold's The Wolverine hits theaters next summer followed by Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past the summer of 2014. In the spring of 2015, Josh Trank's Fantastic Four will release before that summer blockbuster season kicks off and after all of that, well, we'll just wait and see.
ERC shared the info that Fox has selected
March 6, 2015 (Update: Moved to June 19, 2015) as the release date for the Fantastic Four reboot, a film that almost was pushed into development two years ago when X-Men: First Class, fast-tracked thanks to the return of Bryan Singer, became their focus. By comparison, the first Fantastic Four released July 8, 2005 and its sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer June 15, 2007 .
There were rumored castings at the time, and we learned from a special effects artist at the studio that they were already planning out a CGI version of Thing. But it all came to a halt until Fox's low-budget Chronicle became a hit and the director, Josh Trank, became a highly sought-after director brought in to develop and helm the reboot.
And just like The Amazing Spider-Man was rebooted (successfully, mind you) only a decade after Sam Raimi first brought Peter Parker to life on the big screen, the new Fantastic Four will hit theaters 10 years after Tim Story's adaptation starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis released.
With this date selection, Trank will likely be shooting in early 2014, which makes us wonder when he'll begin shooting on Shadow of the Colossus, Sony's video game adaptation. It also means that Fox has one Marvel movie a year for the next three years.
We know that Fox wants to (re)establish the Fantastic Four before doing something more ambitious, like crossing them over with the X-Men, but that absolutely is the next logical step if Bryan Singer can do something special with his time travel tale, X-Men: Days of Future Past.
If however, the modern day X-Men films come to an end with that film and producer Lauren Shuler Donner doesn't get her wish of an X-Men 4 & 5, then it's possible that Fantastic Four could later team up with an X-Men reboot... Hugh Jackman won't play Wolverine forever.
Sharing 2015 with Fantastic Four in the comic book movie/superhero genre will be The Avengers 2, Ant-Man and (potentially) Justice League. No pressure.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
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